Nowadays, you either have too much time to yourself or little time at all, if any. Freelancers have to juggle between the two. On the one hand, they have to grapple with seasonal fluctuations of work. On the other, they can have an entire week or even month to themselves without any work coming up at all.
It’s not entirely a life of bliss
Freelancers are usually admired for their liberty and independence, so to speak. They don’t have to be bossed around and they get the chance to work at their own pace. They don’t necessarily have to commute to work every day and, in fact, many freelancers spend the entire day at their own homes which also function as their offices:
- However, there is some instability at play since peak seasons of work don’t last all year long.
- This uncertainty also extends to their financial status since they don’t get to stick to a standard budget like their salaried friends.
- Plus, of course, there comes a time when the working environment is simply boring and monotonous.
- I mean, it’s the same place you sleep, eat and socialize. It basically becomes your entire world altogether.
Dealing with the familiarity complex
Many freelancers initially had jobs before the 2008 recession really messed up many careers worldwide. Thus, a familiarity complex lingers to this very day:
- One tends to miss ironing those suits and looking stunning every morning.
- Plus, of course, daily work commute isn’t entirely boring because there is that pride and joy that comes with going to work.
- It kind of gives you a sense of purpose.
- Nowadays, it’s waking up and wondering what new event could possibly happen in the course of the day.
How then does one achieve work structure and stability as a freelancer?
Though typical advice revolves around spontaneity in freelancing, it is essential to establish some work structure and stability. This predictability gives you a sense of direction and defines a stable image for you. Most freelancers can’t even describe what they do in a single context. Thus, in a bid to achieve work structure and stability, one ought to…
1. Apply variety and stimulation in a structured manner
As a freelancer, you should embrace the essence of your title to the max. You are FREE. This means that you can take advantage of your liberty while at the same time achieve work structure:
- For instance, consider the fact that your career calendar needs events to mark the achievement of great strides that apply to your resolutions.
- In this case, your spontaneous career will gain a pattern that gives you a purposeful sense of freedom.
- You can even add spontaneity to your everyday work by scheduling different tasks for different days.
- Not to mention you can change your work environment once in a while.
- Heck! You can even have a picnic while you’re at it or travel if you have to.
Speaking of which…
2. Establish a pattern of expectations with a realistic reward system
Too much fun will eventually feel stale and meaningless. Therefore, a reward system is needed in order to achieve targeted results. It’s more or less like drinking water primarily to quench your thirst. This also kicks out the mediocrity that comes with excessive freedom without accountability:
- Therefore, in a bid to establish a pattern of work expectations, you should also come up with a corresponding reward system.
- Intense work should be rewarded with an epic experience whereas normal work should be rewarded with something less proportional.
- The point is not to drink the entire jug of water just because it’s readily available.
- By getting thirsty through hard work, you’re guaranteed to have a worthwhile quenching sensation to reward your exemplary efforts at work.
3. Figure out constructive contingency roles to account for free time
Remember, a freelancer has to grapple with too much time to themselves, especially if they’re going through a seasonal slump in work. This gives them lots of time that can potentially be wasted:
- However, by coming up with constructive contingency roles, one gets to add more value to their life even if these roles don’t necessarily profit the freelancer.
- In any case, it’s far much better to account for free time than to bear the regret of wasting it in the near future.
- And as we all know, time wasted is never recovered.
4. Bring some like-minded freelancers on board
The company of some like-minded freelancers will definitely bring in some zest and energy into your endeavor:
- You can even decide as a group to rent out an office and work as a team.
- After all, who knows how the partnership might turn out in future? A business venture might sprout up in the process.
- Bottom line is that when people join hands for a single mission, there’s no telling how much they can achieve...
See also: 7 Rookie Freelancer Mistakes
Despite the envious sense of freedom, the biggest challenge for freelancers is to gain a solid reputation that people can relate to. Many opt to experiment on different career roles to do so. That’s why it’s important to have work structure and stability in order to settle for your ultimate career purpose. As Bob Dylan once said, “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with their freedom.”